AbstractExperiments were carried out in a drop tube furnace to investigate the effects of biomass/coal co-firing and air staging on NO emission and combustion efficiency. NO and CO emissions along the height of the furnace were monitored by a gas analyzer, and the content of unburned carbon (UBC) in fly ash was also tested. Results showed that NO emission from straw or wood combustion only account for 1/3 or 1/2 that from coal combustion, respectively. Under the conditions of biomass co-firing, the increase in blending ratio had a positive effect on the reduction of NO emission and combustion efficiency. Moreover, results of air-staging combustion showed that for coal combustion, air staging notably reduced NO emission and combustion efficiency. For biomass combustion, the effect was slight. Synergetic analysis indicated that there was an optimum biomass co-firing ratio around 0.4, when the positive synergetic effects on reducing NO emission and UBC were the most significant. When the co-firing ratio exceeded this optimum value, further increasing the co-firing ratio had little influence on NO emission and combustion efficiency. After air staging was adopted, the degree of synergetic effect on NO emissions was reduced while that of UBC was increased.